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Number of licensed premises revealed

Number of licensed premises revealed

DEPARTMENT FOR CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT News Release (133\2007) issued by The Government News Network on 8 November 2007

The public and police are using new powers to ask for reviews of licensed premises, the vast majority of 24 hour licenses belong to hotels which only serve to their guests and nearly 50,000 premises are licensed to serve food after 11pm, according to new statistics published today by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The figures, based on returns from 86 per cent of local councils, show that, as of 31 March 2007, there were 176,400 licensed premises in England and Wales including 15,100 private members clubs. Of those:

* 122,900 premises sell alcohol - the remainder being licensed only to sell food after 11pm and / or put on entertainment;

- 27,900 of which are licensed to sell alcohol on the premises;

- 32,600 sell alcohol for consumption off the premises; and

- 62,400 are licensed for both on and off-sales.

* 5,100 premises have 24 hour licences, the bulk of which (65 per cent) are hotel bars, 910 (18 per cent) are supermarkets and stores, and 460 (9 per cent) are pubs, bars and nightclubs;

* fewer than 50,000 premises including kebab shops, fried chicken outlets, restaurants and pubs are licensed to sell hot food after 11pm; and

* 81,300 premises are licensed to put on public entertainment such as live music, dancing and theatre performances.

In addition, in the twelve months to March 2007, just over 100,000 temporary events and licensable activities were permitted to take place.

New licensing laws, which came into force on 24 November 2005, gave local people the opportunity to have a say in the local licensing decisions that affect them. Local residents and police can now, for example, object to a new licence application or raise an objection about a nuisance bar at any time.

The statistics published today show that these new powers are having an effect. During the 12 months to 31 March this year (based on an 84 per cent response rate from councils) there had been 670 completed reviews. Of those:

* 90 licences were revoked;

* 91 licences were suspended for up to three months;

* 110 premises were made to change their opening hours; and

* 390 premises had other conditions placed on their licences.

Licensing Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said:

"These are the first official licensing figures since the Act came into force two years ago and I'm pleased they put to bed the theory that this law is all about 24 hour drinking. It isn't.

"Less than three per cent of premises are licensed to sell alcohol round-the-clock and two thirds of those are hotels, which have always been able to serve their guests for 24 hours a day. Only around one per cent of premises have 24 hour licences to sell alcohol to the public - and many only open longer hours on special occasions.

"But it's not about how many premises there are - it's about how responsible they are. The new laws give local people and police the power to ask for a review of a licence any time a problem occurs. That puts the onus back on the landlord - behave or risk closing early or even having your licence revoked."

Notes to editors

1. The publication DCMS Statistical Bulletin: Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshment Licensing, England and Wales, April 2006 - March 2007, can be found at

2. The results are based only on the completed returns received and therefore will be an underestimate of the full picture in England and Wales. Returns from 86 per cent of licensing authorities were received in total, but the response rate differed for each question asked, which should be taken into account in any attempt to scale up these figures.

3. Within the commentary, figures have been rounded. If greater than 1,000, figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred, whereas figures between 1,000 and 100 have been rounded to the nearest ten. All figures below 100 have not been rounded and are shown in full.

4. The Licensing Act 2003 received Royal Assent on 10 July 2003. Its reforms came into effect in full on 24 November 2005. The four statutory objectives of the act are:

* the prevention of crime and disorder;
* public safety;
* the prevention of public nuisance; and
* the protection of children from harm.

For more information about the Licensing Act 2003 go to

Public enquiries 020 7211 6020

2-4 Cockspur Street
London SW1Y 5DH

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